One of the first posts that I wrote when I started savegoldbutte.com was titled “Where We Have Been.” The purpose of this post was to introduce the reader to the “Berkley Bill” ( H.R. 7132). I titled the post “Where We Have Been” because I had hoped that we had moved on from this bill. I had hoped that our political representatives had got the message the first time that this bill was introduced that we thought it was unacceptable if not offensive. Well as I continue to attend meetings and talk with our political representatives and their staff, still three years later, I can without a doubt count on someone pulling this bill out.
Here is my issue with this bill; the framework, the very heart of this bill, goes against everything that we have been working to protect. We can amend, adjust and modify the language over and over to dress up the package but the deliverable is still the same. It doesn’t matter how much political frosting you add on top of this bill, the very core of what it is designed to do goes against common sense conservation and real public lands management.
If we are going to create a bill lets start fresh and build the framework for a bill that attacks the issues at hand. Lets create a bill that deals with building a sustainable future for our public lands at Gold Butte. A solution that creates vast amounts of unreasonable wilderness, and adds more layers of bureaucratic mud to the mire of misguided political public lands management will only deepen the problem. We need to cut through the BS and write a bill that protects all aspects of public lands management and not just a narrowly focused agenda. We need upfront, in the legislation, protection for the existing roads and the off highway vehicles that we use to travel the roads. We need in the legislation the promise that these public lands will be managed for multiple use through camping, hunting, fishing, hiking and ATV access.
The fleeting promise of all these issues getting hammered out in the 3 year management process does not hold water with the public who has been deceived time and time again. We need to protect and provide a place for the public that enjoy their lands and their right to recreate within them responsibly. Remember they are our public lands.